Finding Hugarró (Peace of Mind)

Over the last year I've dealt with a lot of stress. Emigrating, surviving my first month in Reykjavík with no money, finding work, finding an apartment, moving a few times, my mom's accident, crowdfunding to raise enough money to visit my mom, learning Icelandic, moving back to South Iceland and planning a big holiday with little to no money!

Although it's been hard, I've come to find a few ways to deal with all of the stress that has come my way. The Icelandic word for 'peace of mind' is rather beautiful, hugarró has become one of my favourite words recently. It sounds a little similar to the Danish word 'hygge', and the concept of hygge ties in well with hugarró.

These are my ways of finding hugarró.

Painting is a great way to take your mind off your worries

1. Switch your morning coffee for a herbal tea.
I've been a huge coffee drinker for years but my boyfriend pointed out that the high levels of caffeine I drink throughout the day might be keeping me on edge and could be a contributing factor to my disrupted sleep, which in turn affects my mood. I decided to cut down my coffee intake drastically and started to replace it with herbal tea instead. I still struggle to sleep but I think I've been having better quality sleep since I switched.

2. Start writing!
I've been writing this blog for a while (although admittedly not as consistently as I should!), but I also had an idea for a novel around 3 years ago. I started to write it but soon abandoned the idea and the file was left unopened on my computer for most of that time. Recently I decided to open the file again and just start writing. Soon after I started writing it again I very quickly figured out a full plot and ending for the story. I'm aiming to get the first draft done within the next 3-6 months. I always found it hard to find the time to write and hard to get into the flow, but I've discovered that my commute to work is the perfect time to write and the ideas come easily now.

3. (Re)Discover your creative side.
I don't yet have a work space here that I can create jewellery in. Although I'd rather spend my days designing and creating in metal, I have to settle for other creative outputs at the moment. A few months ago I bought some polymer clay and wire. Wirework and polymer clay were always my weakest skills in jewellery making but I was determined to prove to myself that I could make something lovely from both mediums. Although my wirework left something to be desired, I was pretty proud of my polymer clay attempts.
I've started painting again. I've always loved painting in acrylics and wanted a new challenge. I love watercolour paintings but have always been intimidated by the loose paint. On my last trip to England I bought a miniature 12 colour watercolour kit. In the last few days I've been painting quite a lot. It allows me to shut the world out for a little while and I've produced a couple of nice bright floral pieces. It's a better alternative to scrolling through Facebook for hours (GUILTY!).

First attempt with watercolours

Not amazing but probably the best wirework I've ever done!

4. Hygge.
I think by now almost everyone is aware of the art of Scandinavian cosiness. Since I discovered the concept at the beginning of 2017 I've been trying to incorporate it into my lifestyle as much as I can. Sometimes the only thing that I want to do is close myself off from everyone else with a hot chocolate, a good book, a cosy blanket and some thick woolen socks. It's good and healthy to treat yourself every once in a while.

I'd love to hear your ideas, let me know in the comments below!
Loppy x

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